Brittany Zamora, the former Arizona teacher who pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a 13-year-old male student, brought up her past accomplishments at her sentencing hearing on Friday.
“I started programs while teaching to help stop bullying, teach girls about nutrition [and] fitness, create fundraisers to help with autism, and help families in need,” she said when asking the court for leniency. “I filled 25-plus desks with school supplies each year, and even won Teacher of the Year in 2016. As far as a citizen goes, I’ve lived my life respecting and trying to obey every law.”
2016 was the same year she was certified to teach.
Zamora defended herself as a “good and genuine person” who made a mistake. What she did was out of character, she said.
The defendant pleaded guilty last month to sexual conduct with a minor, attempted molestation of a child, and public sexual indecency. She faced up to 30 years in prison, but was sentenced on Friday to 20 years under the terms of her plea agreement.
Prosecutors said she started an illicit sexual relationship with one of her male students. She even got one of the boys to stand lookout while she and the victim engaged sexual activity in a classroom.
At her sentencing, Zamora said that she was no a threat to society and that she never wanted to hurt anyone. She insisted she was ashamed and remorseful over what happened.
#BrittanyZamora in court this morning. Sentenced to 20 years in prison. She admits she sexually abused her 13yo student when she was a 6th grade teacher at Las Brisas Academy in Goodyear. #12News pic.twitter.com/7sPi0uqQhB
— Antonia Mejia (@AMejia12News) July 12, 2019
The victim’s mother, however, took the defendant to task in a letter read by attorney John Osborne. She wrote that the abuse damaged her son’s perspective on women, girls, love, and people in general.
“He may never be the same,” she wrote. “He’s lost trust in himself. He’s lost trust in those around him, those he should trust–his teachers. But he has all the love and support of his family, and together, we will help him in every way possible to secure himself for the future.”
[Image via pool]